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There is at Least Hope

Posted by on March 26, 2016

June 19, 1944: A letter from Anna writing from the home front in Albany, NY to her brothers. Almost two weeks after the D- Day Invasion, Anna comments on how the war is going. There is also other news from home about her seeing their cousin Edward Morawski’s Purple Heart and the plans in the works for his wedding which will be in two weeks. Anna also writes about day to day life including an evening out bowling and a picnic that the family enjoyed.

As far as the war news in concerned, Anna writes, “…the allies are certainly doing a good job over there and today I heard on the news that Mr. Churchill said that he believed that the war would end in Europe by summertime and boy wouldn’t it be wonderful if it did. Now since the invasion got on its way there is at least hope that the war will end someday soon, but before it seemed like it never would.”

Anna also writes that she visited with their cousin Eddie Morawski and saw the Purple Heart that he was awarded for injuries sustained on Guadalcanal. In a departure from my usual format, I’m providing the excerpt from the letter where she describes her visit with her cousin Eddie below. For some reason it reads better directly from Anna’s typewriter.

Anna describes a visit with her cousin Edward Morawski where she saw the Purple Heart that he was awarded for injuries sustained on Guadalcanal.

Anna describes a visit with her cousin Edward Morawski where she saw the Purple Heart that he was awarded for injuries sustained on Guadalcanal.

In happier news, Cousin Eddie’s wedding is coming up and everyone is starting to get excited about it. Eddie “managed to borrow a dress-up Marine uniform…the uniform with the white cap and different coat and hat.” Edward and his intended, Rose, have their marriage license and are all set for the wedding which will be in Troy at 3:00 in two weeks. His brother, Vincent, is scheduled to be home on furlough in time to be at the wedding.  Anna and Eddie have been invited to the wedding and are looking forward to going. They expect that the wedding will be a “small affair” with “only the most immediate members of their family.”

At this point in the war, shoe rationing is still going on in the States. Anna mentions that although it is the end of June you don’t see too many white shoes around and “…that could be due to the shoe rations which we are enjoying here in the good old USA.” She writes that she and her husband got bowling shoes “which cost us each a shoe rationing coupon on account of they are leather and have rubber in them.” She contrasts them with “ration free” shoes in that the “ration free” shoes are “cheesy”  and “they have no rubber or leather in them but are made of some kind of stuff that looks like oil cloth…and it cracks and whatnot. There is no substitute for rubber or leather.”

They had an opportunity to use their bowling shoes when they went bowling with Eddie and Rose. They went to Hoffman’s on Central Avenue and left after fifteen minutes when no pin boys were available. “They only had two pin boys…Imagine there being a shortage of pin boys.” They ended up going to the Playdium and bowled three games.  She writes about a couple who was bowling in the adjacent lane. “Next to us were a man and a woman who must have been his wife because she had a wedding ring on and they were deaf and mute and boy were they good at bowling. They talked with their hands and it seemed so funny to watch the woman get mad when she didn’t knock all the pins over and the way she would maneuver her hands around telling the guy what she thought.”

The family also took an opportunity to enjoy the little pleasures in life as Anna writes, “…Sunday we went to the Helderberg Mountains for the day. …Daddy spent all day laying down and snoozing when he wasn’t playing with baby Terry and he certainly enjoyed himself. Eddie didn’t complain that he wasn’t fishing, in fact he roasted our frankfurters for us on his charcoal stove and boy did they smell good and better yet boy did they taste good. We had rolls to go with them, hard boiled eggs and coffee and soda… Mama spent the whole day picking berries till she was so tired she couldn’t anymore. I helped her in the afternoon and we go a lot of them. We had them for supper and today mama is making a cake… …when we got home Eddie washed all the berries and there must have been four quarts of them.”

She ends her letter abruptly with, “Well, I will have to close this letter until another time.” Then wraps with her traditional “So Long, Good Luck and God Bless You”

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